Galaxy S8 with T-Mobile SIM in USA?

By ILIKEPLANES101 | Oct 09, 2018, 11:47 PM
Hi,

Looking at a T-Mobile sim for my Galaxy S8 which was purchased at an Optus store on a plan.
I've looked at a few forums and have become a bit concered about Samsung phones being tailored to different bands depending on the Country/Region they're sold in. Ultimately meaning I can't take advantage of the LTE speeds...

Does anyone have any experience with this sort of issue?


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By jch | Oct 10, 2018, 08:37 AM
Do you need to check the phone hasn't been locked to take Optus only SIM cards first?
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By henrus | Oct 10, 2018, 09:11 AM
Not just Samsung phones but most phones including the new iPhone are sold as region-specific devices.

T Mobile in the US uses 2, 4, 5, 12, 66 and 71 for their 4G Network. https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-4988

You'll then need to find the model number (it starts with G) and is found somewhere in the about section of settings. The Single Sim version in Australia is commonly G955F.

You can then use that model number to search (google etc) and check the frequencies for that specific model. I found that G955F is compatible with Bands 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,12,20,28,29,30, 38,39,40,41

I'd also check that the coverage for the specifics bands is available in the places you're visiting. Whilst the T-Mobile website indicates they've got 850Mhz Band 5 4G coverage (Same as Vodafone in AU) they actually only have a license for that spectrum in one single city.

Drop the pin on this map to view the specifics bands at that location
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By traveller99 | Oct 10, 2018, 10:22 AM
In the USA you're always better going with AT&T for a number of reasons: (a) AT&T use one main 4G band for their network across the USA. In contrast T-Mobile use three different 4G bands. So unless your phone has all of these three 4G bands you might not get 4G with T-Mobile in the areas in which you're traveling, (b) the AT&T network is far superior outside of major cities. In contrast T-Mobile has less native coverage outside major cities and often relies on local partner networks for coverage and if you roam onto such a partner network you get a measly data allowance whilst roaming in that area (eg I think it's only 100MB or so).
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By andredfb | Oct 10, 2018, 10:38 AM
Most major smartphone brands have near worldwide compatibility these days (with the exception of CDMA for Australian phones). You can check the compatible frequencies at GSM Arena by searching the model number of your phone. You will almost definitely not have an issue however.

Optus does not lock postpaid phones.
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By dimi | Oct 10, 2018, 02:01 PM
In the USA you're always better going with AT&T for a number of reasons: (a) AT&T use one main 4G band for their network across the USA. In contrast T-Mobile use three different 4G bands. So unless your phone has all of these three 4G bands you might not get 4G with T-Mobile in the areas in which you're traveling, (b) the AT&T network is far superior outside of major cities. In contrast T-Mobile has less native coverage outside major cities and often relies on local partner networks for coverage and if you roam onto such a partner network you get a measly data allowance whilst roaming in that area (eg I think it's only 100MB or so).

Agree. AT&T is usually a better bet.
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By ILIKEPLANES101 | Oct 10, 2018, 11:16 PM
Do you need to check the phone hasn't been locked to take Optus only SIM cards first?
Yes I have done.. It's not :)

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By ILIKEPLANES101 | Oct 10, 2018, 11:17 PM
In the USA you're always better going with AT&T for a number of reasons: (a) AT&T use one main 4G band for their network across the USA. In contrast T-Mobile use three different 4G bands. So unless your phone has all of these three 4G bands you might not get 4G with T-Mobile in the areas in which you're traveling, (b) the AT&T network is far superior outside of major cities. In contrast T-Mobile has less native coverage outside major cities and often relies on local partner networks for coverage and if you roam onto such a partner network you get a measly data allowance whilst roaming in that area (eg I think it's only 100MB or so).

Agree. AT&T is usually a better bet.

I have heard that. Just wondering if it was worth paying the bit extra. Looks as though I probably will.
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By ILIKEPLANES101 | Oct 10, 2018, 11:20 PM
In the USA you're always better going with AT&T for a number of reasons: (a) AT&T use one main 4G band for their network across the USA. In contrast T-Mobile use three different 4G bands. So unless your phone has all of these three 4G bands you might not get 4G with T-Mobile in the areas in which you're traveling, (b) the AT&T network is far superior outside of major cities. In contrast T-Mobile has less native coverage outside major cities and often relies on local partner networks for coverage and if you roam onto such a partner network you get a measly data allowance whilst roaming in that area (eg I think it's only 100MB or so).
So even on an umlimited data sim I'd be limited to 100MB in certain area's?

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By madmat777 | Oct 10, 2018, 11:36 PM
Hi,


I'm on TMobile in the US for the last 5 years and I have to say that the coverage is really really good now (it wasn't a few years back). I travel a lot and have rarely been without service.


This page has the info on the bands (https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-4988) but the main ones are below. So long as your phone supports these bands you are good to go. Most phones support these, and many more, for when people travel internationally.


TMobile has much better rates for short term trips. Have a look at this one. https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-26344


1700/2100 MHz (AWS)664G LTE
850 MHz54G LTE
700 MHz124G LTE
600 MHz714G LTE

And no, I don't work for them. I just despise AT&T as their coverage when I was with them was not as good.


Hope that helps


Matt.

Last edited by ChrisCh at Oct 11, 2018, 12.53 PM.
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By traveller99 | Oct 12, 2018, 09:55 AM
So even on an umlimited data sim I'd be limited to 100MB in certain area's?


That's correct:

https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-3299

"When you travel outside of T-Mobile's U.S. network coverage, your phone automatically switches to using wireless data from another carrier. There's no added charge for the service, but we do have to place reasonable limits on off-network usage...You get 200 MB for when you travel outside of T-Mobile's network coverage, using wireless data from another carrier."
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By jnic | Oct 13, 2018, 02:03 PM

After a disastrous initial trip where I tried to buy a SIM locally and was bounced from pillar to post, eventually resorting to Starbucks free Wi-Fi for the duration …. I now buy an AT&T SIM online and provision it up before we leave (but only turn phone with AT&T SIM on once you land IN USA).


I have done this on a couple of different Samsung Galaxy phones when we visit USA. Apart from one instance where the phones locked on to some random carrier and I had to manually switch them back to AT&T and an overnight in a log cabin just outside Yosemite, I have had fabulous coverage and ease of use in both cities and rolling plains.

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By ILIKEPLANES101 | Oct 14, 2018, 08:50 PM
Cheers everyone - Seems like AT&T is the way to go as I'll be spending some time out of cities.
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